Fairmont, W.Va. State both go 2-0

VIENNA – The top two seeds in the final West Virginia Conference softball tournament, which got under way Thursday at Jackson Park, held true to form as No. 1 Fairmont State and No. 2 W.Va. State each posted two wins.

FSU’s Chelsea Cobb picked up a pair of mound triumphs as the Fighting Falcons defeated Wheeling Jesuit 9-1 in six innings and then sent four-time defending tournament champion W.Va. Wesleyan into the loser’s bracket with a 5-2 victory in the semifinals.

Although the Bobcats, who play a 10 a.m. elimination game today versus third-seeded Charleston, pounded out a dozen hits versus Cobb, the gang from Buckhannon couldn’t overcome a quartet of costly errors. Three of those came in a three-run Fairmont State fourth against losing Bobcat hurler KC Carey.

Fairmont State, which handed Wheeling Jesuit a six-inning 9-1 loss in its opener, took the lead for good against Wesleyan when Holly Frampton fought back from an 0-2 count and crushed a solo homer to deep left on a 3-2 offering from Carey with two gone in the bottom of the first.

Wesleyan should’ve had a 1-2-3 fourth inning, but an infield error allowed Sissy Stubbs to reach and the flood gates opened wide. Terri Lynn Wolfe followed with a single to left and then No. 9 hitter Brittany Williams had a run-scoring single and it was 3-1 FSU when Wolfe crossed the plate on a throwing error from the outfield. Leadoff hitter Courtney Iacobacci came through with an RBI single to center to make it 4-0. Wesleyan found itself down 5-0 when Frampton walked in the fifth against relief pitcher Jessica Griffin and scored on Amanda Skidmore’s two-out RBI base knock.

Carey did have an RBI double in the sixth that plated Paige Cummings and Cummings had an RBI bloop single in the seventh that scored Alex Furr, who joined teammate Jacqui Omichinski in going 3 for 4. Cummings and Bobcat catcher Megan Malenstyn each went 2 for 3 in the loss.

Cobb worked around the 12 hits, didn’t walk anyone and fanned six in her 117-pitch complete-game.

W.Va. State, which will meet FSU at noon today to see which team will take control of the tournament, sent 11 batters to the plate in a seven-run second en route to posting an easy 8-0 six-inning victory against Shepherd in the other semifinal. Yellow Jacket Sara Pelegreen fired a three-hitter and fanned a half dozen while Ram starter Shannon Lyons walked six, allowed seven earned runs and couldn’t make it out of the second.

Mattie Best got things rolling with a one-out single and Alana Weyant jacked a two-run bomb to center to make it 2-0. After issuing consecutive free passes to Dee Dee Loftis and Sydney Kaplan, Lyons fanned Megan Schoolcraft for the second out, but then couldn’t find the strike zone again. A walk to Hannah Griffith loaded the bases and then consecutive base on balls to Sabrina Schouten and Victoria Crawford brought in two more runs before Desiree Giffin hit a bases-clearing stand-up three-run double to left-center.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, pinch-hitter Codi Evick singled and the mercy rule was enforced when she scored on Schouten’s RBI knock.

Charleston 4, Alderson-Broaddus 2

  • The Golden Eagles staved off elimination against the Battlers thanks in part to Morgan Aguirre’s complete-game victory which featured nine punchouts. UC’s three-run fifth broke a 1-1 tie. Kendal LeFrancois went 2 for 2 with a pair of runs-batted-in. Former Parkersburg South standout Katelyn Hamilton and fellow UC teammate Allison Evans knocked in the other runs.

Losing pitcher Hannah Whitney had an RBI while Battlers Kristy Kellogg, Kharrisa Renoth and Emily Morton had two hits apiece.

Fairmont State 9, Wheeling Jesuit 1 (6 inn.)

  • Cobb had sevens strikeouts in the victory, Frampton and Carly Mundie homered and Iacobacci went 3 for 4 with a trio of runs-batted-in for FSU. Angie Reddick finished 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles and Wheeling Jesuit’s only run-batted-in, which scored Lorian Tharp.

Shepherd 7, Charleston 2

  • The Golden Eagles were upset in their opening contest as Lyons dominated in the circle with a three-hit complete-game effort as she walked just two and recorded five strikeouts.

The Rams, who got home runs from Savannah Snyder and Tayler Schaefer, took control via a five-run top of the first and led 7-0 after three. Taylor Bolton went 2 for 3 with a double, triple and knocked in two for the Rams. Charleston’s Ayla Santos had a pair of RBIs.

W.Va. State 5, Alderson-Broaddus 3

  • Even though the Battlers scored three in the top of the first against Yellow Jacket starter Kelsey Lorraine, head coach Bob Allen’s troops answered back with three of their own in the bottom of the first and posted single tallies in the fifth and sixth to avoid the opening round upset.

State’s Anna Eggleston worked 6 1-3 innings of four-hit ball to earn the win in relief. She walked none and had four strikeouts. Loftis knocked in two runs for the Jackets.

Regan Drake went 3 for 3 and Vanessa Bodily had a two-run homer in the setback.

W.Va. State catcher Poppy Ramey, who had a stolen base in the triumph, is actually playing at Jackson Park in a tournament for the eighth consecutive year. While Ramey is hoping to end her senior season in college as a WVIAC tournament champion, she reached the Class A state tournament with Harts as a freshman when the Lions took runner-up honors and then her final three prep seasons at Chapmanville she helped the Tigers to a pair of Class AA state crowns.